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Live music venues in Sydney and NSW to receive government financial boost

Live music venues in Sydney and NSW to receive government financial boost
May 24, 2021

162 live music venues - 85 in Sydney and 77 in regional NSW - are to receive an injection of funds through the NSW Government’s $24 million Live Music Support Package.

The program will help assist live music venues that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 related restrictions over the past year to survive through the pandemic.

Applications were assessed by an industry and NSW Government inter-agency panel and funding allocated based on the size of individual venues, and whether the venue operates exclusively for live music or whether live music forms a significant part of the venue operations.

More than 40 venues that received funding are in the City of Sydney council area, such as the Opera Bar, State Theatre, Merivale venue Ivy, The Lansdowne Hotel, Metro Theatre and Home nightclub.

Recipients can utilise funding for operational costs including but not limited to employing musicians and support crew.

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the benefits of this initiative would be far-reaching and advised “Live music is the beating heart of our state and this is the largest investment into grassroots live music in the history of NSW with 162 venues to receive crucial funds that will allow them to keep the doors open and get back to work putting on gigs.

“The NSW Government has been listening to the industry and our community, and the incredible support for and interest in this program proves that it has hit the mark for these venues.

“We know that there is a whole network of businesses and professionals that are involved in staging live music shows, and many of these venues are pillars of the 24-hour economy and critical infrastructure that allows a whole range of events and activities to take place.

“By keeping the lights on and the amps tuned, we’re creating social and economic benefit for the whole of NSW, and it’s amazing to see venues from Bega to Ballina receiving funding.”

Live music venue Crowbar in Leichhardt will receive $600,000 under the program, which owner Tyla Dombroski explains “will see us clear our debts completely and survive the next 12 months of recovery without the extreme stress and pressure of low turnover from restricted capacities and ongoing COVID-19 scares. Not only that, but it will help us to support the whole industry from artists, staff, promoters and music workers by putting on more events, upgrading equipment and facilities and creating an even better experience for our community.

“Venues are the stepping stone for so many artists in their careers, we are so incredibly thankful for everyone who rallied behind NSW live music venues and that we have had our voices heard by NSW Government. Thank you for listening to us, thank you for your support and for not stopping until the best possible outcome was reached for the survival of live music in our state.”

The Live Music Support Package is part of the NSW Government’s $51.5 million Tourism Support Package, providing funding to sectors engaged in the NSW visitor economy that have been hit hardest by the pandemic. The fund is administered by Destination NSW in partnership with Create NSW and the Office of the 24-hour Economy Commissioner.

For more information, go to www.nsw.gov.au/living-nsw/tourism-support-package.

Image courtesy of live music venue Crowbar in Leichhardt 

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